China's legislature has revised a draft emergency response law that could give the media greater freedom when covering disasters, riots and emergencies, AFP reported. The original law warned the media of fines of up to US$13,000 if false reports led to "serious consequences." The revised draft law no longer names the media specifically, referring instead to "units and individuals." Legislators were concerned that local governments could misuse the law by covering up disasters. The draft law defines "emergencies" as industrial accidents, natural disasters and health and public security cases. China has had a number of mining accidents and health crises, such as the SARS and bird flu outbreaks, in recent years.
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